Friday, 11 September 2009

Africa Rice Center is no longer WARDA

10 September 2009. COTONOU, BENIN. Recognizing the strategic importance of rice for Africa and the effective geographic expansion of the Africa Rice Center – which was constituted as the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) in 1971 – its Council of Ministers took a historic decision at its just-concluded 27th Ordinary Session in Lomé, Togo, to officially change the Center’s name to “Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)” and to no longer refer to it as WARDA.

Mr. Kossi Messan Ewovor, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Republic of Togo, chaired the Session.

The pan-African ownership of the Center has increased particularly in the period since 2007 during which six countries from Central, Eastern and Northern Africa joined the Center. As a result, the number of Africa Rice Center member countries went up from 17 in 2006 to 23 in 2009.

The Council urged that the unique model of the Africa Rice Center as a pan-African intergovernmental institution be taken into consideration in the context of the ongoing CGIAR reform process, because it is an important asset for the CGIAR. The Council also called for a “Mega-Program on Rice” in the new CGIAR as rice is the fastest growing food staple in Africa and is an engine of economic growth and political stability that can impact on poverty and hunger.